Latest Entries
Nonfiction

304: Randy Cohen

From time to time someone suggests that I be a guest on the show and describe my own person, place, and thing. I reply, maybe in season ten, my euphemism for never.  Then I smile and add, sure, if we’re confined to our homes by a horrible pandemic exacerbated by a criminally incompetent White House and can’t … Continue reading »

Dance

Episode 303: Wendy Whelan

She’s been with the New York City Ballet for 30 years, rising from apprentice to principal to associate artistic director. “When I moved to New York at 15, by myself, I moved into Jacques d’Amboise’s home. He rented the third floor of his brownstone to four young ballet students.” The world’s coolest boarding house. I … Continue reading »

Politics and Policy

Episode 302: Vincent Sapienza

He leads New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, managing the finest municipal water system in America, despite much of it flowing through century-old cast-iron pipes. He told the Municipal Archives, “The pipe under 42nd Street goes back to the time when John Wilkes Booth’s brother was acting as Hamlet on Broadway.” Yes, he dates infrastructure … Continue reading »

Architecture & Design

Episode 300: Gene Kohn

He is a co-founder of KPF, architects of buildings worldwide, including One Vanderbilt, rising near Grand Central. “It’s very tall at over 1,400 feet, but it’s not the tallest building in New York, and we weren’t trying to make it the tallest,” he told the Center for Architecture. “We didn’t want to get into a … Continue reading »

Art

Episode 299: Sarah Boxer

This cartoonist and her cousin, our featured musical guest Jill Sobule, were raised in Colorado, with ties to a disastrous nineteenth-century scheme that sent Jewish immigrants westward from the slums of the Lower East Side. Great story. Great song. (Somehow the words “disastrous scheme” evoke the White House. I can’t imagine why.) Continue reading »

Food

Episode 297: Roy Steiner

Working on the food initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation convinced him that, “You can’t shift people’s diets if you can’t make it delicious. Food is not just fuel.” A conversation at the New York Baha’i Center about health, hedonism, and social justice. Music: Stephanie Jenkins Continue reading »